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Black History Month: Uplifting voices at Synopsys

Synopsys Editorial Team

Feb 14, 2022 / 3 min read

Black History Month is an opportunity to honor the contributions African Americans have made in our society, and to recognize a commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We spoke with Aliou Niane of the Software Integrity Group to learn more about his role and impact at Synopsys, and what advice he has for those who are looking to enter the tech space.

Tell us a little about yourself and your role at Synopsys Software Integrity Group.

I am a technical product marketing manager with a focus in channel partners on the product marketing management team. I am originally from Guinea, West Africa, and have studied or lived in Asia, Europe, and the United States. I speak six languages (French, English, Japanese, Korean, and two African languages).

What does Black History Month mean to you?

Growing up in West Africa, I was unaware of Black History Month because it was not part of our curriculum. Very few post-independence African countries were familiar with the United States in general. It was not until many years later, in the early 1990s in Japan, that I heard about it. A journalist and friend of mine from the Los Angeles Times saw a picture of me with Miriam Makeba, also known as Mama Africa, in my photo album. Makeba was a South African singer, songwriter, actress, and civil rights activist. I told my friend that I grew up in the same city and played basketball with her ex-husband Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael) when I was 12 or 13 years old. The late Kwame Ture was a civil rights activist leader of Black nationalism in the United States who coined the term “Black Power.”

Aliou Niane Celebrating Black History Month at Synopsys

Aliou with Miriam Makeba ‘Mama Africa’ in Tokyo in 1990.

Why is it important that we (including tech companies) celebrate Black History Month?

Stokely Carmichael Speaking in Alabama 1966 for Black History Month

In my opinion, all companies, not only tech companies, will benefit from celebrating Black History Month by highlighting the contributions of Africans and African Americans in the world of technology and science, art, culture, medicine, psychology, literature, etc.

How is Synopsys addressing diversity and inclusion in the workplace?

I am new to Synopsys, and I believe I was not hired because of my color but the experienced know-how that I bring to the company. But, at equal capacity, I invite companies to consider other attributes such as the capacity to overcome prejudice in any situation. Managers must be open-minded and inclusive when collaborating with colleagues regardless of their country of origin, gender, religion, accent, etc.

Can you tell us about your impact in tech? What projects are you currently working on that you’re excited about?

We (the partner marketing team) just finished the first Partner Relationship Management portal. The site transforms the way we interact with partners and it creates value for their customers worldwide, ultimately helping us reach our revenue goals. You can learn more about our partner program initiatives on our website.

What advice would you give to young tech professionals who are at the start of their careers or for those looking to enter the tech industry? What resources are available?

I invite young professionals to show a passion for what they want to achieve in the tech industry. They can find that the tech industry is vast and welcoming. Young professionals should be engaging in innovative ways. Tech companies are not only concerned with coding or designing computer graphics. Young professionals can become data scientists to analyze complex data patterns, perform marketing activities, use behavioral economics to sell, build trust to support clients, etc. Everyone can find something exciting in this industry. They can apply new ideas and critical thinking to address business problems. I encourage them to learn new insights through collaboration and identify mentors in the industry that are ready to help them. They should always adopt an open mind, keep a curious attitude, and have a growth mindset. The tech industry is one of those rare work environments where you can meet people from diverse backgrounds, education, experience, culture, and languages.

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